Joint steering committee to discuss energy cooperationThe first ever meeting of the Nepal-China joint steering committee (JSC) is slated to be held later this month in Kathmandu to explore areas where the two countries can work together for the development of the energy sector.
The first ever meeting of the Nepal-China joint steering committee (JSC) is slated to be held later this month in Kathmandu to explore areas where the two countries can work together for the development of the energy sector.
The JSC is an energy secretary-level mechanism established to promote collaboration between Nepal and China. The planned meeting is an initiative to implement the energy cooperation agreement signed with China during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to the northern neighbour in June.
As per the accord, the two countries need to form a mechanism co-led by their respective energy secretaries which will organise periodic meetings. After Prime Minister Oli’s visit, the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation formed a seven-member team under the leadership of Energy Secretary Anup Kumar Upadhyaya to represent Nepal in the committee which invited Chinese officials to Kathmandu for the first ever meeting.
During the meeting, the Nepali delegation led by Upadhyaya will hold talks with their Chinese counterparts to expedite the construction of a Nepal-China cross-border transmission line and other transmission lines along with hydropower projects in Nepal.
The Nepali team, according to ministry sources, will urge the Chinese side to develop the 410 MW Nalgad Storage, 450 MW Kimathanka Arun, 426 MW Phulkot Karnali and 762 MW Tamor Storage hydropower projects with Chinese funding.
They will also request the Chinese officials to build the 400 kV Koshi Corridor, 400 kV Karnali Corridor, 400 kV Western Mid-Hill, 400 kV Eastern Mid-Hill and 756 kV Butwal-Mahendranagar transmission line projects.
Energy Ministry officials who will be participating in the meeting said they would try to finalise the modality under which these schemes will be built.
“We will try to build some of the projects with Chinese grant while others will be built by forming joint ventures with Chinese companies,” said the source. “Although there might not be a breakthrough on all these issues at the first meeting, the conference will give direction to power sector cooperation between the two countries.”
The meeting will also discuss the financing modality for the first ever Nepal-China cross-border transmission line. Although the two countries have agreed to build the trans-Himalayan power line, they are yet to decide the construction and financing modality.
The 400 kV transmission line will extend from Galchhi in Nepal to Shigatse in China. Nepal has requested China to fund the project, but it has not received an official answer from the northern neighbour. Both countries have formed a separate joint technical team to expedite the project, but the team is yet to reach a conclusion on the modality.
The outcome of the JSC meeting will work as a guiding principle to expedite the cross-border power line project, according to the source.